Like most teenagers in the UK, my first introduction to makeup was in the affordable makeup stands of my local Boots. Miss Sporty (RIP), Bourjois (rejoicing at its return last year) and Barry M were all part of my makeup initiation, offering super-affordable and fun products to experiment with.
Since those days, high-street makeup brands have exploded and created a whole army of viral products, and if there’s one that’s exploring new frontiers in terms of affordable makeup, it’s e.l.f cosmetics.
In recent years, e.l.f has gone on to become what I (and many others in the beauty industry) would argue is the most viral high street makeup brand of the past decade.
More on affordable beauty:
- The best high street makeup under £10, as recommended by makeup artists
- 6 of the best high street concealers that mask blemishes
- These are the beauty products that aren’t worth the money
But hype and The White Lotus stars aside, there are some incredible products that I really think everyone should try. Rounding it down to just six buys was a tough one for me, as there’s not been a product I haven’t liked, but after much deliberation and back and forth, I’ve edited it down to the following.
The best part? They’re all under £15.
The 6 best e.l.f makeup products
e.l.f Halo Glow Liquid Filter, £14
This can only be described as a holiday in a bottle, giving the skin a lit-from-within radiance that brightens and boosts your complexion. I wear it alone in the summer, but you can mix it with your foundation or wear it underneath to give your base an extra glow.
e.l.f’s shade range currently has eight compared to CT’s 12, but it spans fair to deep skin tones, and the sheer finish allows one shade to be pretty flexible.
e.l.f Halo Glow Liquid Blush Wand, £9
Over the past couple of years, blushes have risen the ranks to become one the hottest makeup products. Cool-toned chiselled contour has been elbowed out for shimmering flushed cheeks, and the Halo Glow Liquid Blush Wand is one of the best new liquid blushers I’ve tried.
More of a blush-highlight hybrid than a straightforward blusher, these wands capture the most divine molten shimmering shades, which leave the skin with a flush of colour and luminosity. The wand comes with a built-in applicator sponge for precise application, so you can dot on and blend out in mere seconds.
e.l.f Poreless Putty Face Primer, £9
When festival season hits, it’s always a battle to keep makeup on all day and night. Thankfully, this primer from e.l.f makes it an easy win: not only does it smooth the appearance of pores, giving you a flawless canvas to start on, but it grips onto makeup, meaning your full face will keep on dancing as long as you do.
e.l.f Putty Cream To Powder Bronzer, £6
Another legendary product from e.l.f’s Putty range, its cream bronzer is one of the best on the high street. Though the pot might be small, its effect is mighty: formulated with argan oil and Vitamin E, this creamy formula glides onto the skin and blends out for a smooth and seamless bronze effect.
With eight shades in a range of undertones and depths, you can warm up or contour your face depending on your preference. It’s an affordable alternative to Chanel’s Les Beiges Healthy Glow Bronzing Cream, but is definitely more sheer than Chanel’s pigmented formula.
e.l.f Hydrating Core Lip Shine, £6
I’m not going to lie, the most difficult pick of e.l.f was deciding between which lip product to include. I ride for the brand’s Glossy Lip Stain and Hydrating Core Lip Shine, but the latter juuuust pipped the former to the post due to its ease of application.
Lip Shine has the texture, formula and feel of a lip balm, but packs more of a punch with pigment than traditional tinted balms. It hydrates lips and leaves them feeling plump and juicy without a sticky gloss finish. The shade range is stunning too, with a range of skin-tone-enhancing nudes, reds and berries.
FYI, shade ‘Ecstastic’ is a dupe for Clinique’s nearly-always-sold-out Black Cherry.
e.l.f No Budge Matte Shadow Stick, £5
Both makeup newbies and long-time fans will adore this easy-to-use eye stick: I personally love it for creating a smokey eye (‘Cool Beans’ is a gorgeous dark mocha shade), but it’s also ideal for experimenting with more adventurous looks such as 60s floating liner or abstract shapes. It’s another e.l.f must-have for festival season, and at only £5, you can stock up across the range of matte and shimmer shades.